There’s been some buzz in the industry this past week regarding an informal survey about why people choose to buy their books. In summary, the survey reveals that:
- The most common reasons why someone will buy a book is because they like the author and/or because it was recommended by a friend
- A good book review is also quite influential
- Hardly anyone will decide to buy a new book because of an author website, blog, advertising, or social networking
So the natural question to ask in response is this: “Is an author website really worth it?” The purpose of this blog entry is for me to answer that question for you … with a resounding YES. Here are three reasons why:
1. Word of mouth has to start somewhere. The odds that your book will become the next Harry Potter is small. But it’s even smaller if you DON’T do the marketing yourself. Sure, you can’t create all the buzz yourself. But you have to start somewhere. Use your author website, blog and social networking to get the word out there. Once you get the ball rolling, who knows where it will go!
2. Help your readers stay in the loop. Let’s say that your first book was released last year, and your second book is due out in a few months. So just how are the people who are already fond of your writing going to hear about it? Unless you’re Stephen King, there aren’t going to be public proclamations about your new book release. That’s where your website and social networking are crucial. By getting fans of your first book to come to the website, to sign up for your newsletter, and to check out your blog regularly, you can make sure they know about your second book. And hopefully your third and fourth as well.
3. Get your book reviewed. Just last week, I was organizing a blog tour for an author I work with. I contacted a variety of blogs and websites recommending that they visit her website to learn more about her book. Then I suggested that they review her book, or allow her to guest blog on their websites. As a result, we already have four websites that will either be reviewing her book and/or having her write for their site in the next month. Without having built a website of her own, how would we be able to inform these bloggers about the author or her book? How would we get the book reviewed by their sites? And, ultimately, how would those who would buy the book because they were impressed by the review ever get reached?
So, in my humble opinion, the survey was a bit incomplete. Because it only touches on the last step that happens before people buy a book — be it a review, a release of a second book, or having the book discussed at the water cooler. It completely ignores what an author needs to do to make those things happen. An an author website, blog, and/or social networking profiles are pretty much essential in getting there.
Ready to speak with us about developing an author website? Contact us today for a free consultation!